Ulysses Kay

Born in Tucson, Arizona, January 7, 1917
Died in Englewood, New Jersey, May 20, 1995






Suite for Strings, Concerto, The Quiet One, Essay on Death, Symphony, Southern Harmony, Song of Jeremiah, The Boor, The Juggler of Our Lady, The Capitoline Venus, Jubilee, Frederick Douglass

Ulysses Kay


Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) was an American composer, conductor, and professor. He was born into a musical family, and his uncle was the famous jazz trumpeter, King Oliver. He initially played piano and violin but when gifted a saxophone at age 12, he dropped the first two and focused on the saxophone. He earned his B.A. at the University of Arizona and then subsequently studied at Eastman School of Music (M.A.), Yale University, Columbia University, and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, MA. As an adult, he settled in New York City and made his career as a composer of over one hundred works for chamber group, orchestra, band, chorus, opera, and film. His compositions are characterized by melodic lyricism and are mostly in the neoclassical style. He was also a distinguished professor of music at CUNY from 1968-1988 .